Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center


Developing a Protocol to Measure Infant Responsiveness to Food Cues

To determine whether infants and toddlers respond differently to food cues when they are hungry versus full

Study Type
Administration of questionnaires to caregivers combined with laboratory-based assessment of eye-tracking in young children
Study Purpose
The goal of this study is to examine how young children, ages 9 to 24 months, respond to images of food versus non-food items when they are hungry compared to when they are full.
Study Design
Caregivers of young children will complete an initial telephone screen to determine study eligibility. Eligible child/caregiver dyads will attend an initial orientation visit at the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center. During this visit, we will collect information on height and weight and caregivers will be asked to completed brief questionnaires. Participants will then attend two visits at the Center for Children and Families affiliated with Women and Infants Hospital. During these two visits, children will view the same set of images on a computer screen. During one of the visits, the infant/toddler will be full (i.e. recently fed) and during the other, they will be hungry (i.e. will not have eaten anything for the last 2 ½ hours). The order in which these visits are conducted will be determined randomly. During the first study visit (SV1) the infant/toddler will view the images in the first randomized state, then during the second study visit (SV2) the infant/toddler will view the images in the other state. The primary outcome measure is the proportion of time spent viewing food versus non-food images in the full versus hungry condition.
Study Requirements
Participants must be between the ages of 9-24 months and have a caregiver who is at least 18 years of age and is able to speak, read and write English. The caregiver must also have good familiarity with the infant/toddler’s typical diet. Infants/toddlers will not be eligible for participation if they are exclusively breastfeeding, were born prior to 36 weeks gestation, or have a developmental or visual impairment that would prevent the child from viewing the images.
Study Duration
Three visits over the span of three- four weeks, with total time of approximately 90-120 minutes.
Study Benefits
Participants will receive compensation after they have completed all three study visits.
Study Contact

To learn more about this study and to see if your child is eligible to participate, contact Nalini Khurana at 401-793-8941 or nkhurana@lifespan.org.





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Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center

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